Book Review: Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco Moore (2020)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

A weird and creepy story, no less enjoyable for its eccentricities.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Content warning for child abuse, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and misogyny.)

I hide myself as much as I hide my sister herunterladen. I hide the person I am when I’m with her. When I was a kid it was easier. How I acted in the day wasn’t much different from how I acted at night. Outside of school at least, the kids of Lester roved about, playing in the woods behind someone’s house or alongside the train tracks, fighting with sticks, running races, trying to catch fish in Monday Creek, acting out plays with dead bugs as the actors. But as I got older, there were more and more things that weren’t acceptable or cool, especially for a girl.

I added them all to the secret half of me.

That’s the one thing we do all have in common. Pretty much every kid I know is looking forward to the day when they can escape this place aangifteprogramma 2012. Savannah dreams about moving to a city. She’s always going on about her second cousin in Cincinnati. Other kids talk about heading up to Columbus or down to Delphi.

Me, though, I already escape every single night.

We are lambs who refuse to learn, I think. We will wander until the end of our days, not afraid of wolves. But together. Always together.

Fifteen-year-old Jolene “Jo” Richards has a sister – an identical twin only she knows about ringtones herunterladen. Lee is a wild thing, a feral child, who lives in the national forest that surrounds their hometown of Lester, Ohio. At night, Jo sneaks out her bedroom window to run with Lee. By day, she pretends to be an ordinary, unexceptional girl.

Well, as “normal” as a kid like her can be; it’s hard to stay under the radar when your mom is missing and presumed dead, a likely teenage murder victim. Jolene, for whom Jo was named, had Jo at fifteen. When Jo’s grandmother Margaret found out about the pregnancy, she kicked her daughter out of the house powerpoint download free full version windows 8. For a while, Jolene lived in a double-wide trailer on the outskirts of town with “the Cantrell boys” (said in ominous tones, natch), Logan and Brandon. Logan, the older of the two, was widely considered bad news: he sold drugs, abused women, and is possibly Jo’s father. (It’s hard to know for sure; Jolene was “friendly,” as they like to say.)

The last time anyone saw Jolene alive, she was enormously pregnant and pounding onion rings at the bowling alley – in the company of none other than Logan and Brandon. A week later, Brandon showed up on Margaret’s doorstep and thrust a newborn baby into her arms. Now Jo lives with her Aunt Aggie … and haunts the night with a specter that only she can see vob b kostenlos.

When a teenage boy is attacked in the woods, Jo the only witness (it happened during her first kiss, the horror), the crime sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. For nearly a decade, Jo has tried to keep Lee hidden, a secret. Lee is wild and paranoid and free; discovery equals captivity, imprisonment, domestication. Maybe even scientific study. Certainly death – if not of Lee’s body, then her spirit.

But is Jo willing to trade her own freedom for Lee’s herunterladen? After all, the girl who attacked that boy wears Jo’s face. Everyone thinks it was Jo who ripped out a boy’s throat during a midnight makeout session. As if her rep wasn’t already sketchy enough.

Some Kind of Animal is, well, kind of bonkers, and I mean that in the best way possible. I try not to shy away from 3-star books, because every once in awhile I’m delightfully surprised by a story that everyone else seems to hate – or hold ambivalent feelings for, at best lustige memes zum downloaden. (See, e.g., The Blondes by Emily Schultz.) Some Kind of Animal is 110% one of those books: it’s bizarre and meandering and the plot never seems to lead where you think it will.

It defies easy categorization. Is it a mystery? A supernatural thriller? A horror story? A psychological study? A cultural critique? All of the above?

Some Kind of Animal is its own beast, and it’s what I love most about it.

If I had to sum it up as a mashup, I’d pitch Some Kind of Animal as Thelma & Louise meets Our Endless Numbered Days (or insert your own YA survivalist story here), maybe with a touch of The Grace Year kostenlose spiele zum herunterladen. It’s so many things, but at its core beats a fierce feminist heart. This is a story about sisterhood, in both the literal and larger sense. About the way society judges women – and conditions women to judge one another.

Through Jolene and Jo and Lee and Savannah, Moore interrogates slut shaming and woman hating. Collectively, they are living, breathing illustrations of how society prefers its women dead and tragic – and maybe just a little bit sexy – rather than alive and wild and in control of their own sexuality. Each is a fascinating character in her own right, but it is their relationships with one another that truly sparkle and ignite.

Some Kind of Animal is also a compulsive thriller; more than a hundred pages go by before Moore lets use know whether Lee is simply a figment of Jo’s imagination (no spoilers here!) plantnet app kostenlosen. There’s a supernatural, otherwordly vibe to the story that I adore; these pages are populated by the night creatures, and I half expected a witch or vampire to emerge at some point. The pacing is pretty wild, too; it feels like you’re reaching the climax of the story about halfway through – but, alas, there are still 190 pages left! Where will Moore lead us next? (Astray, hopefully, because these liminal spaces are where the magic happens.)

Anyway, I’m glad I snagged an ARC before the reviews started rolling in; I might have passed on it otherwise herunterladen. It’s the kind of story you either love or hate, and I fall firmly into the former camp.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)